I’m delighted to be sharing a guest post by Stephen J. Golds on my blog today. He is the author of Say Goodbye When I’m Gone, Always the Dead and Poems for Ghosts in Empty Tenement Windows I Thought I Saw Once. He has a new book coming out, Love Like Bleeding Out With An Empty Gun In Your Hand which is published the 29th April 2021.
Why I Write Noir – Guest Post
Noir found me on a Spring, Saturday morning at around 8:35.
I was twelve years old.
A friend of mine had a Saturday job helping out at the greasy-spoon cafe up the main street from my home. I’d wake up early, walk up there and he would give me a bacon sandwich and a coffee on the house.
This particular Saturday morning Noir came and looked me in the eye was a beautiful one. The sun was a golden yellow that glimmered from the morning dew and condensation on the pavements and parked cars. Walking up from the bottom of the council estate and the council houses the street gradually transformed classes. The houses got larger and prettier. As did the cars parked outside. Opposite the greasy-spoon cafe was a house that always caught my eye. It was a pure white and always had a maroon Jaguar parked outside. I had never seen who lived there but I imagined it was someone very rich. As I walked wondering how many pieces of bacon my friend would give me in my sandwich that day, three people came out of the house. Two large men and a woman. I can‘t remember the men too well. One was fat and bald and the other was skinny with a big nose and a pony-tail. The woman caught my eye. She was beautiful. Not classy beautiful but that hard kind of beautiful. Jet black hair pulled tight into a ball on the top of her head. The darkest eyes. She was wearing adidas jogging bottoms and a tight t-shirt. As they walked past me to get into their car, another Jaguar, the woman glanced at me and made a disappointed face. I don’t know why. We held eye contact for what felt like an hour but was probably closer to a couple of seconds.
They got into their Jag and drove away.
I was still looking over my shoulder at the shrinking car when I passed the white house and heard someone crying and moaning. It was an old guy. He was splayed half in his front door and half out in the pavement. There was a lot of blood. More than I’d ever seen. It was a deep red and it caught the sun. It was beautiful too in a jarring way.
I thought he had fallen over and hurt himself. The stonewash blue jeans he was wearing were soaked through. He kept saying “they shot me. They shot me.” I kept asking him if he was okay. I didn’t know what to say or do. I put my hand on his back. Snot and tears were slick and glistening on his agonized face.
I went across the street and told my friend’s boss that an old man had fallen over and was bleeding everywhere. Then I sat in the window eating my bacon sandwich watching the ambulance and police arrive. The woman’s face in my mind then and in my mind now.
I currently have two noir novels available:
Say Goodbye When I’m Gone – released by Red Dog Press
Always the Dead – released by Close to the Bone Press
A book of noir poetry – Poems for Ghosts in Empty Tenement Windows I Thought I Saw Once
And in April a collection of short prose and poetry titled Love Like Bleeding Out with an Empty Gun in Your Hand
Stephen’s novels are available to buy:
1949: Rudy, A Jewish New Yorker snatches a briefcase of cash from a dead man in Los Angeles and runs away from his old life, into the arms of the Boston mob.1966: Hinako, a young Japanese girl runs away from what she thought was the suffocating conformity of a life in Japan. Aiming to make a fresh start in America, she falls into the grip of a Hawaiian gang dubbed ‘The Company’.1967: Rudy and Hinako’s lives collide in the city of Honolulu, where there is nowhere left for either of them to run, and only blood to redeem them.
Los Angeles, California. 1949.
Scott Kelly is a World War Two Marine veteran and mob hitman confined to a Tuberculosis sanatorium suffering from consumption, flashbacks and nightmares from his experiences of The Battle of Okinawa and a botched hit for Bugsy Siegel.
When his movie actress girlfriend disappears, he bribes his way out of the sanatorium to search for her.
What follows is a frantic search, a manic murder spree, stolen contraband, and a briefcase full of cash.
A story that stretches from the war torn beaches of Okinawa, all the way to the playground of the rich and famous, Palm Springs, California.
An exploration into the depths of L.A crime, PTSD and twisted love.
A semi-fictional novel based around the disappearance of Jean Spangler.
Poems for empty corridors,
subway stations after the last train
and bars after the call for last orders.